BHG Delish Dish

Stirring Up Ideas In The Kitchen

Brownies and Bars

Hello BHG! My name is Jonathan Melendez from The Candid Appetite blog. My blog is a recipe site photographed step-by-step that focuses on making cooking and baking easier for those who love to cook but need a helping hand in the kitchen. I graduated with a degree in photography, so my site is very much photo based. I find that cooking and baking is a very visual learning experience, so I like to make sure people have images to guide them through a recipe. I’m so excited to make these marshmallow treats!

When I was a kid my favorite ice cream flavor was always Neapolitan. It was the best of all three worlds. I didn’t have to choose between vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream because I’d get all three in one ice cream flavor. Talk about a kid’s dream come true! While browsing through the Better Homes and Gardens site, I came across these Neapolitan Marshmallow Treats and I was instantly hooked. I’ve since made them several times and have they’ve always been a hit. I’ve made a few changes here and there each time I’ve made them, and I think they just keep getting better and better (which I didn’t think was at all possible!)

These bars start just like regular rice cereal marshmallow treats, so you want to melt the butter, and mini marshmallows with some vanilla and marshmallow fluff. That just makes them even better. Mix together with the plain rice cereal until evenly combined and then transfer to a rectangular 9 by 13-inch that has been lined with parchment or foil and greased with cooking spray. This will ensure that the treats come out from the pan without sticking. Press out into an evenly layer and then set off to the side. Then in the same pot, melt more butter, more mini marshmallows and even more marshmallow fluff.

Mix in the chocolate rice cereal and, this is where I changed the recipe a bit from the original, add in about a cup or a cup and a half of dark chocolate chips. Any chocolate chips you have on hand will do though. Once mixed, pour over the vanilla layer and press down with wet hands into an even layer.

Then you’re going to do the same process, just one more time, but this round we’re going to melt butter, strawberry marshmallows, strawberry jam and marshmallow fluff. To get that bright pink color, I added a few drops of red food coloring, but if you’re not a fan of food coloring, you can definitely just leave it out. To change the recipe a little further, I added dried cherries, but if you can find dried strawberries, those would be even better!

Press the strawberry layer onto the chocolate and then place a piece of wax paper and a baking sheet on top and weigh it down with a few cans or cast iron skillet. This will ensure that the layers stay together. Allow to set for at least 1 hour. Remove the bars from the baking pan and then cut into squares.

I’ve found that these are a definite crowd pleaser and they always get people talking because of the three flavors included in one treat! You’ll for sure want to keep some for yourself hidden away, so that people don’t eat them all!

The changes I made to the original recipe Neapolitan Marshmallow Treats are:

  • Add an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract to the vanilla layer.
  • Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped, to the chocolate layer.
  • Add 3/4 dried cherries or dried strawberries to the strawberry layer.

Grapefruit Strawberry Gooey Butter Bars

I thought I’ve seen them all when it comes to cakes and dessert bars. Recently, I was introduced to gooey butter bars and this has opened my eyes to a whole new world of sweets I have yet to explore!

They’re a popular, long-standing St. Louis treat. While there are numerous various on the gooey butter bars, it’s basically a two layered dessert. It starts with a shortbread crust bottom and topped with a melt in your mouth butter cake.

Grapefruit Strawberry Gooey Butter Bars

Together, these two layers create this decadent delightful little treat.

While these gooey butter bars are perfectly fine as is, they’re the perfect blank canvas to garnish with your favorite fruits. I added a combination of strawberries and grapefruit segments on top. It’s the ideal transitional dessert to say farewell to the citrus of winter and hello to the berries of spring and summer. Forget strawberry shortcakes and peach buckles this summer, I’m going to be making all sorts of variations on these gooey bars!

Grapefruit Strawberry Gooey Butter Bars

While you wait for the gooey butter bars to cool down and set up, I marinated the fruits in a liquid mixture of honey and grated ginger (for a little zing!). Once the gooey butter bars are ready for serving, drain the fruits and add them to the cake bars. Save the marinating juice to lightly drizzle on top of butter bars, or use it sweetened iced tea! Add a few sprigs of mint for the final touch of pop and freshness. If you’d like, a dollop of freshly whipped cream adds another dimension of luxury. Be sure to cut small portions. These gooey butter bars pack a big punch and you really only need a little slice to be super happy!

Grapefruit Strawberry Gooey Butter Bars

Here are my changes to the original GOOEY BUTTER BARS recipe:

  • Instead of 2/3 cup half-and-half, I used 2/3 cup whole milk.
  • Instead of 1/2 tsp almond extract, I used 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • Add 1/4 tsp fine sea salt to cake batter
  • Instead of 3 cups strawberries, I used a mixture of strawberries and grapefruit segments.
  • Add fresh mint to garnish

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Chocolate Peanut Marshmallow Bars

How can you make something that already tastes good even better? Add chocolate, of course! I’ve been eyeing these salted peanut bars for quite some time. With baseball season around the corner, I’m all about peanuts! I require a bag of peanuts at every game. I’m sure these chocolate peanut marshmallow bars will be the perfect snack when I watch baseball games at home!

From sweet to savory applications, peanuts pack such flavor. The original recipe for these bars uses salted peanuts. I swapped in a combination of salted peanuts and honey roasted peanuts to mix it up. The honey roasted peanuts add an unexpected touch of sweetness that makes you crave more after each bite.

Chocolate Peanut Marshmallow Bars

The bottom cookie layer is quite similar to a shortbread crust. On top of that is a layer of melted marshmallow. And the bars are rounded out with a delectable and oh-so-delicious mixture of peanut butter, crisp rice cereal, and peanuts. Once the top layer has cooled and set, a generous drizzling of chocolate is the perfect finishing touch. These bars have everything you could ever want in a treat: sweet, salty, crunchy, and satisfying!

Chocolate Peanut Marshmallow Bars

Making these little treats is a breeze. It’s waiting for it to cool down and set up that feels like eternity. But really, it only needs about an hour in the fridge to firm up.

This is a great make-ahead dessert. Once completed, it also holds really well for a few days. Although, trust me, you’ll have no problem finishing these chocolate peanut marshmallows bars!

Chocolate Peanut Marshmallow Bars

Here are my changes to the original SALTED PEANUT BARS recipe:

  • Instead of 2 cups salted peanuts, use 1 cup salted peanuts and 1 cup honey roasted peanuts.
  • Once bars have been sliced into serving portions, drizzle melted dark chocolate over the top for the finishing touch.

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These Mojito Bars are filled with fresh mint and lime juice, baked on a buttery macadameia nut crust.

I would love a bit of these fresh Mojito Bars. This alcohol-free dessert is perfect for a warm summer day.

One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is to try new recipes. As I chose the recipes to share with you each month, I like to pick ones that I have not tried before, or ones that are different from my typical desserts I like to make. That is why I’m so excited to share these Mojito Bars with you today! It might also be because in the dead of winter, these refreshing bars are the perfect pick-me-up. The last time I made something like this was years ago, I made these Raspberry Lemon Shortbread Bars.

These Mojito bars are alcohol-free, which means that everyone can enjoy them. Yeah! They remind me of a lemon bar, and have the most delightful crust. The crust is a combination of flour, macadamia nuts, sugar and butter. The nuts give add a touch of saltiness that compliments the filling just perfectly.

These fresh Mojito Bars are made with a simple crust and a perfectly baked lime filling.

For this recipe, you will need to bake the crust for about 20 minutes or so, which helps prevent it from getting too soggy after you add the filling. You don’t need pie weights or anything like that. I did make the mistake of using a brownie pan with a short edge. When I added the filling, it came right up to the top. So just make sure you use a pan that is at least 2-inches deep. This is what is specified in the instructions, but I’ve never claimed to be good at reading directions. You definitely want to cover the pan with aluminum foil or even a silicone mat on the bottom.

The filling is relevantly simple. I used a combination of eggs, sugar, fresh lime juice, mint and a touch of flour to help thicken it. All you need to do is pour the filling over top of the baked crust and pop it back into the oven for another 20 minutes.

These Mojito Bars are a must-make recipe.

Once these bars are completely cooled, I tossed them in the refrigerator. They are much easy to cut through (they are a little bit sticky), and I just preferred them to be cold, but that is up to you! Of course I would encourage you to throw a little powdered sugar on top.

All you need to do is grab the original recipe for these Mojito Bars and substitute the pecans in the crust with macadamia nuts.

Droolworthy Mojito Bars

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Peanut Caramel Brownies

Hi everyone! It’s Maryanne from The Little Epicurean. I’m so excited to be here!

This week I’m sharing these peanut caramel brownies. I’m still reeling from the holiday blues and these brownies are the perfect treats to perk me back up.

I originally stumbled upon this recipe for caramel-hazelnut brownies. While I’m a big fan of the chocolate and hazelnut combo, I wanted something different. I decided to swap in lightly salted roasted peanuts.

Peanut Caramel Brownies

I love the flavors of peanuts, caramel, and chocolate together. It reminds me of one of my favorite candy bars. If you want an extra pop of sweetness, you can also try honey roasted peanuts.

Peanut Caramel Brownies

This recipe makes a large batch. You will definitely want to share this with others.

Start with a 9×13-inch baking pan. To make removal easy, line the baking pan with generously greased foil.

The bottom brownie layer is rich and dense. The original caramel layer calls for hazelnuts and hazelnut liqueur. I swapped in peanuts and omitted the liqueur to make it kid-friendly.

Peanut Caramel Brownies

Immediately after baking the caramel brownies, sprinkle chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips) all over. Let it stand for 2 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt. Be patient. The chocolate WILL soften.

Peanut Caramel Brownies

Use a mini offset spatula (or the back of a spoon) to spread the melted chocolate into an even layer. And for the final touch, sprinkle peanuts all over. Gently push the peanuts into the chocolate to ensure they stick.

Now comes the most difficult part of this recipe, allow the brownies to cool and the chocolate topping to set up. You can do this at room temperature or speed up the process by letting it chill in the fridge. These brownies last for days. They hold up really well. Plus, if you want a fresh out of the oven, ooey gooey brownie, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to warm them back up.

Peanut Caramel Brownies

Here is the recipe for the original Caramel-Hazelnut Brownies. My alterations: swap in roasted peanuts for hazelnuts, omit hazelnut liqueur.

oatmeal jam bars on cakestand

On a recent snowy weekend, my daughter and I made a batch of Oatmeal Jam Bars to make the most of the cozy day—and to share with friends who joined us for an afternoon play date. We love this recipe because it’s easy to put together and each bite has a nice mix of fruitiness and buttery flavor. We made just a few adjustments to the original recipe, but we’re definitely bookmarking this one to make again this winter.

It’s been a while since I made bar cookies and I forgot how easy they are to make. There’s no rolling, cutting dough, or portioning out balls onto a cookie sheet. So simple!

full batch of oatmeal jam bars

The base of these bars is flour, oats, cream cheese, and butter, which makes a really soft dough of sorts. You simply press it into the bottom of your pan, so it’s fun to do with a little helper. I cut the brown sugar down from 1/3 cup to 1/4 cup and used strawberry preserves—the Smucker’s strawberry Fruit & Honey—instead of raspberry based on my family’s preference. There was plenty of sweetness in the final bars, so no one missed the missing sugar. I also added a little vanilla extract to the dough to boost the flavor a bit. It was a really nice pair with the lemon peel that’s in the crust as well.

close up of oatmeal jam bars

These Oatmeal Jam Bars bake up in just over 30 minutes and possibly the hardest part was waiting for them to cool completely before cutting them. I used two spatulas to lift the whole batch out of the baking pan and then sliced them easily on a cutting board. I was impressed by how well the crust held together. We enjoyed them with a little steamed milk and may have had the leftovers for breakfast the next morning with coffee—they are sort of like a fancy fruit and grain bar, after all!

sliced batch of oatmeal jam bars

Whether for a cookie exchange or just a snowy afternoon, your family will love these Oatmeal Jam Bars. Get the full recipe here.

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